Choosing between the Responsive Magento Store approach and a separate Magento mobile store is crucial.

The decision is determined by the way you want to address your audience and has a significant impact on how you will manage your e-commerce channel.

Read through the pros and cons of both strategies and you'll know what answers you'll need to get in order to reach the final conclusion.

Responsive Magento Store

A “responsive site” means that it is adapted for all available devices in terms of easy navigation, fast loading and content visibility.

All done in a single project swoop and a kind of “one size fits all” without sacrificing anything that is not necessary.

If in doubt, we always recommend taking the RWD route.

Responsive Web Design is a holistic approach to designing web sites.

Let's take a look at the Responsive approach first.

Note that Cons here do not necessarily mean that they are inherently bad. It's just that if executed poorly can be a liability.


  • Google prefers it: Not that it dislikes a mobile site it's just that according to these guidelines they prefer a fully responsive website.
  • One code base : One of the reasons Google prefers RWD is that you are serving your users the exact same content on all devices, adapting the look and feel using CSS only.
  • Universal Content: Your content is displayed consistently on all devices. Your content is displayed consistently on all devices. This is also a dealbreaker for RWD in favor of a separate mobile site if you need to serve specific content for mobile users.
  • Lower Maintenance Cost: Maintenance cost compared to a separate mobile site is lower just by the fact that you do not have separate code bases and you are serving the same content on all devices.


  • One code base: Serving all devices the same amount of CSS and HTML means that special care needs to be given towards code optimisation and browser testing.
  • Universal Content: If you have separate content needs for the users on mobile devices, RWD won't help and you'll need to take the separate Mobile route.

Desktop Magento Store with a separate Mobile Store

If you want to take it safe because you are worried that a complete overhaul of the site's design would defeat your CRO efforts you invested in, a mobile only approach might be the route to take. One other reason is that you need to present your users with mobile specific features and content that your desktop users would not benefit from.

What do I get? Your desktop users continue using the site as normal while your mobile users get served a separate, mobile optimised version of the site. It's called a “Magento Mobile Theme”.


  • Separate Mobile Content: Your needs and customer demands will be met with content tailored just for mobile use. Your needs and customer demands will be met with content tailored just for mobile use.
  • Separate Code Base: Serving only those assets that are required for mobile makes the site load faster, ability to use new HTML5 goodies without thinking about backwards compatibility with desktop sites (in case of RWD).


  • Higher Maintenance Cost: You now have an additional code base that needs to be in check with the "main site" and operationally it's like having two projects to take care of instead of one.
  • Site redirection * This is not a problem considering Magento doesn't serve a mobile site from a different URL which is good because Google.
  • Link do desktop version When your users need to reach the desktop version of your site, you'll need to provide them with an option to do so. Luckily, Magento has that option covered.

-- Psst. You can always get in touch with us and we'll help you with the decision. Fill out the form at the bottom when you're ready.

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